25th Infantry Division activates Lightning Academy

25th Infantry Division
Story by Sgt. Ariana Cary

Date: 05.01.2013
Posted: 05.01.2013 21:35
News ID: 106177
Lightning Academy

East Range Training Complex, Hawaii – During a ceremony on East Range Training Complex, Hawaii, May 1, the 25th Infantry Division officially activated its latest tool to help build and enhance warrior skills: the Lightning Academy.

The Lightning Academy is a training institution within the 25th ID which is dedicated to developing critical thinking skills in leaders and service members.

The courses are open to soldiers and joint service members from the United States and our Asia-Pacific Partners. The combined military classes are intended to increase international cooperation and teamwork on a small unit level.

The courses currently available are the Lightning Leaders Course, Pre-Ranger Course, Combatives levels one and two, Adaptive Leaders Program, Tactical Rifle Course and Air Assault. Each course is run independently of each other. Service members interested in multiple courses will have to apply separately for each course through their individual units. Each brigade will be allocated slots.

“The Lightning Academy is great because we’re trying to make it where all of our partner nations can come here for training and, in return, we can go to their countries for training,” said Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Kirk, platoon sergeant for the Lightning Academy Pre-Ranger Combatives and Lightning Leaders Course.

The training will strengthen trust and cultural awareness between the U.S military and those of our Pacific partners.

The 25th Infantry Division’s Lightning Academy exposes trainees to tough and realistic training courses designed to challenge the individual’s mental and physical capabilities as well as their critical thinking and leadership skills.

“The Academy brings a lot of benefits to the units here,” said Sgt. 1st Class Scott Homer, senior instructor for the Lightning Academy Air Assault course. “It gives service members an opportunity to train with subject matter experts. We will be able to train approximately 150 students per class. That’s potentially 150 service members graduating every two months who are capable of going back to their units and providing that expertise. It really enhances our ability to utilize training to fight.”

Preparation for the courses is simple, said Homer. The instructors will teach everything the students need to know to be successful in their course. They just need to come physically fit and ready to work hard.

Safety is the top priority at the Lightning Academy. All cadre have been trained extensively in their field to ensure both safety and competence for their students.

“Safety is our number one concern in everything we do here,” said Kirk. “With all the courses that we run we ensure that, as leaders, we’re doing everything correctly. At every high risk training event, we have a medic present and everyone is Combat Life Saver certified.”

The Lightning Academy is dedicated and focused on working with students from both the U.S. military and Pacific-partnered militaries to increase their combat capabilities while fostering teamwork, said Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, commander, 25th ID.

“Quality training is truly the cornerstone in effectively preparing soldiers for combat,” said Fuller. “Training that is relevant, tough, and realistic creates competent, adaptable and resilient soldiers. The Lightning Academy will aim to do just that. But beyond Schofield Barracks and Hawaii, the Lightning Academy will provide us with a world-class training venue where we can build and sustain our regional partnerships.”